One never expects E. J. Dionne to give an honest analysis, but on Meet the Press yesterday, he exposed both Obama's weaknesses and his core strategy for the coming election.
Speaking of the GSA and Secret Service scandals--which most analysts dismissed as having any impact on the Obama campaign--Dionne said:
I think it's really bad for progressives, liberals when any of these scandals come up, because progressives and liberals are people who say, "gpvernment can accomplish great things." And paradoxically I think those scandals hurt the progressive side of politics more because they feed this doubt that the public has. And I think the task that people who are on that side of politics is to say, "No, we can fix that side of government and make it work and do good things." So I think this undercuts part of the progressive agenda.
Really. Let's get this right: the GSA scandal, the Secret Service scandal, the Solyndra scandal, the Fast and Furious scandal, the wasteful spending, the entitlement mentality--all of those things may just cause voters to reject Obama and the Democrats--and may just explain why voters don't trust the government to solve our problems.
Later on, speaking of the election, Dionne said this:
I think there's three big things in the election. One is, does growth continue or not? If you look at our poll and others, the one narrative that might work for Romney is "Obama didn't fix the economy fast enough." So it all depends on whether job growth goes back to the 200,000 or not.
Two key groups--one is a collection of groups. Can Obama mobilize turn-out among African Americans, Latinos, and young people? If the leads are so big among African Americans and Latinos, then we're really going to have to watch the polling carefully, because it really depends on what the make-up of those samples is. The other group is the white working class. He lost them really badly in 2008, but he lost by a small enough margin that he won the election. That's where Romney's got to win, and Romney has some real disadvantages with that group.
So, the election really is about the economy as the main issue. But the election ultimately comes down to racial politics. The Democrats have to maximum the African American and Latino votes and marginalize the white working class votes.
You know, I feel better already about Romney's chances of winning.